Favourite Sun Oven Uses?

CanadianLoriJuly 24, 2014

I, m a newbie sun oven user. So far have baked some breads and a casserole.
Anyone want to share their favourite use for this oven?
thanks for reading this
Lori

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grainlady_ks

It sounds like you are off on the right foot. ;-) Nearly anything you can make in your regular oven you can make in a Solar Oven.

I have three solar ovens - the Sun Oven, Tulsi Hybrid (has an electric back-up so the temperature doesn't fall into an unsafe cooking temperature), and a bowl-shaped "Hot Pot" Solar Cooker (great for soup, stews, chili, etc...) and I do as much cooking in them as possible to save on utilities.

Be sure to sign up for the Sun Oven (electronic) Newsletter because it's always full of recipes and information.

--Avoid cooking strong-smelling veggies like broccoli, cabbage and sprouts because they develop an AWFUL odor!!!!

--For better browning of the top crust and to lessen condensation in the oven, use DARK bread pans (I found mine at Big Lots) in matched sets and place one upside-down as a cover and secure it with steel binder clips.

--Most foods you cook are fairly forgiving with the temperature so don't require constant repositioning of the oven, especially if it is cooked in a pot with a lid to hold in the temperature, but if something requires constant high heat, you will need to re-focus the oven about every 15-minutes. Set your timer as a reminder, if necessary. I wear a Polder timer around my neck.

I keep my Sun Oven and the Tulsi on a metal tool cart on wheels for easy moving, and be sure to lock the wheels. The "Hot Pot" is on an old, heavy Formica-covered Lazy-Susan we used for a small TV eons ago, and I can turn the Lazy-Susan to track the sun, and I have a way to hold the position (so get creative to make it easy for yourself). I strap my ovens to the cart with bungee cords to keep them from taking flight when winds are high, or to prevent a curious neighborhood cat from knocking the unit off the cart. I keep my heat-resistant OVE Gloves, sun glasses and a visor to shield my eyes on the shelf for when I get into the solar ovens. I also keep a rimmed cookie sheet on the lower shelf to place the cooked items on to transport from the oven to the house. If I spill something enroute, it will be on the cookie sheet. If you have a silicon baking sheet or silicon hot pads, place these on the rimmed baking sheet and your glass dishes or pans won't slide.

OVE gloves are a better choice than a hot pad or mitt because they have fingers which make opening and closing the oven much SAFER and easier.

You may want to get into the habit of moving the oven away from the sun when you open it in order to avoid glare from the oven wings, or release the wings. I also wear a pair of sunglasses and a visor (or a brimmed hat) on my head to protect my eyes from the sun rays.

--Food cooks faster when humidity is low, and may take longer if it is humid.

--In the winter I'll add bricks that are painted with black heat-resistant paint used for repainting BBQ grills to increase and help hold the temperature.

--Choose fairly small, uniform in size potatoes and bake them in a clean (only used for this purpose) black sock.

--ALWAYS preheat the oven before placing food inside to cook/bake. Sometimes I'll add a small pan of whole almonds to the oven and will toast them in a little coconut oil while the oven is preheating.

--I can cook a variety of grains, beans, soup, etc. in quart jars that I have painted the OUTSIDE black with heat-resistant paint used for refinishing BBQ grills. (You can also use these jars for heating water - nice when you are camping). Place a small square of foil with some vent holes poked in it over the top. You can also place a canning lid and ring on the top. The rubber seal allows excess pressure to be released, but a low increase in pressure is retained and actually helps speed cooking - as another option. ONLY use real canning jars which are made of tempered glass, not the one-trip or single-use jars from the store.

--It's almost apple season and this is a favorite recipe.

APPLE CUSTARD
1 (13-oz.) can evaporated milk (I use double-strength reconstituted powdered milk)
1/3 c. honey (OR agave nectar or palm sugar nectar or sweetener of choice)
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon (OR apple pie spice or cardamom)
3-4 c. apple slices
Blend ingredients (EXCEPT apples) for a few seconds in a blender. Place apples in a dark baking dish/pan. Pour liquid mixture over the sliced apples. Cover, place in solar oven and cook about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. (I like to use my "Hot Pot" for this recipe.)

-- For large cuts of meat (or making a number of chicken breasts, thighs or legs) I like to place them in a plastic Oven Bag (follow their instructions for cutting vent holes and preparing the bag with flour). Set the bag with the meat inside a dark cake or lasagna pan or small dark roasting pan. For a small turkey breast or turkey tenderloins I add coarsely chopped onion, celery and carrot to the bottom of the bag and sprinkle liberally with sage (or poultry spice), salt and pepper and place the meat on top (brush oil or melted butter on the top of the meat). This mixture in the bottom of the bag will help season the drippings.

--I like to place silicon muffin cups inside a regular muffin pan and bake the batter inside the silicon cups. Works best if you have a dark muffin tin. I also bake individual meatloaf "cups" and several other muffin cup recipes this way.

--Beans, which normally take a lot of time, will cook quicker if you sprout them first, rather than using the normal overnight soak method. They are also higher in nutrition and easier to digest.

There's probably more information, but that's off the top of my head. If you have any questions, fire away :-).

-Grainlady

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:44PM
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dcarch7

I have a solar furnace. It can grill hot dogs, steaks, burgers ----.

Basically it is a very large Fresnel lens concentrating solar ray much the same way as using a magnifying glass to light a match.

Go to youtube and do a search on fresnel lens solar cooker, grill, furnace.

You can buy the lens for $100, or you can go to your town dump, find an old large screen TV, rear projection type, there is a Fresnel lens in front of the screen for free.

dcarch

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:42PM
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CanadianLori

I will employ thetips, thank you. I only have the all american sun oven and have it on lazy susan as well. I am happy about your tip to brown bread. I have been spritzing the tops with water as their website advises but that causes condensation on the glass and reduces its efficacy.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:45AM
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CanadianLori

Forgot to mention that I will be trying your custard recipe early next week - we're due for a cloudy weekend - bummer!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 3:23PM
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